Fred Armisen To Host Peabody Awards On May 31

Fred Armisen will host the May 31 Peabody Awards ceremony which, after two decades at the Waldorf, is moving to “Greek revival special-events palace Cipriani Wall Street,” and from from a workday lunchtime to an evening gala that organizers say will include a “made-for-TV red carpet event.”

In June, Pivot will telecast a 90-minute special that combines excerpts from the ceremony, with interviews and clips of the winning programs; the ceremony and primetime special are being produced by Den of Thieves – whose credits include Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution, the CMT Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, Key & Peele Super Bowl Special, etc.

Peabody Awards director Jeffrey Jones said the workday ceremony “may have confused people as to the nature” of what the Peabody Awards program at the University of Georgia, has become.

What it has become is a “dramatically re-imagined event” with “TV foremost in mind,” organizers say.

To that point, the award winners for calendar year 2014 will, for the first time, be announced in chunks over a two-week period, beginning Tuesday, April 14 with the Individual/Institutional winners, and wrapping on April 23 with the Documentary, Web/Interactive, Public Service, Education, and Children’s programming winners. Winners in the categories of News and Radio will be announced on April 20.

And the Entertainment winners will be unveiled April 16 – on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Jones said the divvying up was because previously the “smaller” winners often got lost in press coverage in the shadow of the Orange is the New Blacks and the Scandals – among last year’s winners. Announcing them over two weeks will allow for “greater attention placed on news and children’s programming,” he said, while we bit our tongue.

Jones said he’s comfortable that the number of Peabody Awards handed out each year has now swollen into the 40s, and is confident it has not diluted prestige of the award. There is just so much good content these days on so many different distribution streams it’s like “drinking water from a fire hose,” he said.


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